Each week Keith will share with Metro Melik a history of a spirit. They will have fun talking about it, and sharing stories. Each with decades of service industry experience they have a lot of stories. And then the show will close out with a cocktail recipe with the spirit. Hopefully...
Did you know that Johnny Appleseed was a drunk?
But first Metro Melik goes off on a tangent about a real life Jack Sprat situation. Keith gets things back on track as to why Johnny Appleseed went around the land planting cider apple trees. Let's start in 1698 with William Laird in New Jersey who started making apple whiskey that eventually became applejack.
Cider apples are necessary for applejack.
This episode has a lot of the beginning history of the United States of America. Laird's is the first licensed distillery in the US of A. Check out their pictorial history here: https://lairdandcompany.com/our-history/
The Cocktail of the episode is the Jack Rose. 2 1/2 oz of Laird's applejack, 3/4 oz of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 ounce of grenadine
Keith considers this mezcal's other half to be tequila. With mezcal and tequila we discuss the circle of life.
Tequila comes from blue agave of cactus.
Chihuahua Mountains are where blue agave grows. The name threw off Melik and trying to do math shows. The first recorded distillation of tequila happened in 1666.
Weird story from Melik talking a little bit about his dance history. Strippers were involved kind of. Then there is a reference to the old Way Side Bar also known as Sparty's that had a wonderful drink special for Blue Motorcycles.
The bonus episode will be part of the Patreon mix.
Then Keith talks about when tequila began to be imported to the western expansion of the United States of America.
The cocktail of the episode is the Oaxaca Sleeping Potion. Ingredients - Mexico chocolate / aqualita, steam milk, 1 oz of tequila, 1 oz of mezcal, 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled beverage.
What is amaro?
But of course there's a Melik sidebar that happens first. He talks about date night that had an enjoyable meal.
Amaro has a simple meaning of bitter. It is a bitter liqueur. Grappa based spirit that has herbs, spices, botanicals added to it that is reduced from a 'brandy' to an amaro. This is a followup of "booze can be medicine". A lot of amaros were made to be medicinal. "Holistic medicine is that amaro is all about", Keith.
Keith adds Fernet Branca to the mix with a flavor of spice melange. [Melange, often referred to as simply "the spice", is the name of the fictional drug central to the Dune series of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert, and derivative works.]
Melik talks about the treatment of people in the service industry.
Amaro is a digestif that can be defined as "the end of the end".
The recipe for this is simple - Fernet Branca and Coca-Cola, as the Argentinians do. There's also Branca Menta which goes well with a little bit Sprite. The Coca-Cola Company are not paid advertisers.
If you can find Art of the Age - "Root", you'll find a special treat.
Cocktail Recipe: The Toronto - 2 oz of Canadian Whiskey, 1/4 oz of Fernet Branca, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, and a dash of Angostora bitters. Shake, pour on the rocks, and orange peel as the final ingredient.
Melik does throw out a few curse words in this episode.
In this happy meandering episode:
Keith is happy to be a bicycle rider in the middle of the Mitten, Lansing Michigan.
The drink is the vehicle for two passionate people to share good stories. This episode will have stories circling around the spirit of moonshine. This moonshine story begins with the Whiskey Rebellion.
Think about how different production, purchasing goods, and consuming goods have changed over the last 240 years [or so]
Keith explores how moonshine became to be called moonshine. You can decide whether or not you believe Keith's moonraker story. Melik tells on himself with one of his moonshine pastimes.
Then Melik shares one of his favorite childhood memories.
"Justice like lightning should ever appear to some men hope, to other men fear"
Warning: Melik curses a few times in this episode.
Clear, flavorless spirit distilled from cereal grains and an often misunderstood spirit. Ideally vodka has no flavor. Vodka is the diminutive of voda is "water" in several Slavic languages, similarly to uisquibah which is Gaelic for water of life. There's a lot of misconceptions about the distillation process in general that are discussed in this episode. Basically vodka is gluten free.
There's a history of vodka that is a whole lot of nothing from something that makes some of the best vodka. |
Define foie gras: liver of a specially fattened goose or duck prepared as food.
Tito's Handmade Vodka changed how people were misinformed about spirits.
Martini has become redefined, which also can cause confusion with customers and traditional bartenders.
Keith has a favorite, which surprised Melik.
Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol, sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits or sugar. Traditionally prepared vodkas had an alcoholic content of 40% by volume.
A spirit that's origin that dates back to the 14th century is absinthe. It has as storied and colorful history that is connected to people like Hemingway, Voltaire, Rimbaud, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Poe. There are as many misconceptions about absinthe as there are stories. And yes we do have a cocktail for you in this episode.
Metro Melik shares his early childhood experiences that included his reading choices in grade school. The exchange continues to discuss how people dream.
Absinthe stems from worm wood and has a huge medicinal history. Keith introduces the absinthe trail.
Keith explains the 'absinthe process'. We talk about the "Moods of Spoon".
Melik questions the hypocrisy of all drugs are bad but then people celebrate art that has had an enhancement of of influence.
Pernod Absinthe - sans worm wood
Lucid Absinthe Supérieure
Vieux Carré absinthe
Thanks for making it through the gin episode. Here's one about Aqua Vitae which is very similar but different.
Keith talks about his Swedish friend that introduced him to the aqua vitae spirit and a Swedish traditional Friday meals.
This is a journey of a spirit with the caraway savory flavor.
Keith talks a discovery from his grandmother that completely changes his paradigm.
Open your palate - "You're not accepting what's in your mouth. Your expecting what's in your mouth." ~Metro Melik
And remember, "if it grows together, it goes together". ~Keith
Aqua Vitae a strong spirit fractionally distilled from wine. The "water of life".
The cocktail of the episode is a Swedish Negroni.
[there are some curse words in this episode]
Keith and Melik are still formulating the names of the show as we explore the world of gin. They realize that gin is a polarizing spirit but they encourage you to take a listen to this episode. You'll educate yourself on the spirit and may find a way to enjoy it. Keith talks about his bicycle riding journey that will lead up to him participating in the 2019 DALMAC. The Dick Allen Lansing to MACkinaw Bicycle Tour is Michigan’s annual epic end-of-summer bicycle camping tour which is a summer bicycle camping tour from Lansing to Mackinaw City.
What makes gin 'gin', it is juniper. Juniper (Juniperus communis ) is an evergreen shrub found on mountains and heaths throughout Europe, Southwest Asia, and North America.
Keith talks about what goes into a "gin basket".
Melik explains why he doesn't like to play a certain game.
The British were instrumental in introduce the world to gin.
William III of England, aka William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death.
There's a story sharing exchange one about suffering through biking, another of how myth is made.
Keith talks about how a gin & tonic is a perfect drink. A tall glass is suggested, fresh ingredients, and try Indian Tonic Water with natural quinine. Or you might want to try a gimlet.
Keith tells a "neat" story.
Melik speaks about his recipe "Magdalene" that uses Magellan Gin.
Your feedback and suggestions are important to us. We've tweaked the sound. Let us know if it is helpful for your listening enjoyment.
It's a new spirit of the Western World. A Chinese sorghum spirit, baijiu. There's a little bit of storytelling wrapped around this Chinese spirit. Keith spent some time living in China and shares what he learned about the culture of being a host and a guest. Baijiu is a versatile spirit that can replace another spirit in your favorite cocktail. Baijiu is celebrated on World Baijiu Day, check out www.worldbaijiuday.com
Baijiu, also known as shaojiu, is a category of at least a dozen Chinese liquors made from grain. Báijiǔ is a clear liquid usually distilled from fermented sorghum, although other grains may be used
Whiskey, earthy, cheese aromas, mushrooms
Chungking Express is a 1994 Hong Kong drama film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film consists of two stories told in sequence, each about a lovesick Hong Kong policeman mulling over his relationship with a woman.
Thanks for being a Lansing icon Fabiano's Homemade Candies | 1427 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912
You can find baijiu at Peking Express / Tian Wang Restaurant | 611 E Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI 48823
In this episode we discuss brandy and how it's made. Also different versions including Armagnac, cognac, american brandies, and fruit brandies. Keith delves a bit into American brandies. Adding a little pepper to the episode we take a visit the store Wonder Women Estate Sales in Lansing's Old Town. One more thing. Don't sleep on Hennessy. There's a deep history with that particular cognac. And finally we share a recipe that your favorite bartender won't roll their eyes if you ask for this version of a Brandy Alexander.
[ Copper & Kings American Brandy Company ]
Rum is the spirit. We talk about how rum began and how it is produced. There's some time spent on discussing different types of rums that have different flavors. More specifically Bacardi, Mount Gay, Dameisolle Rhum, and why there's an 'h' in the word rum. And to round out the show with a Rum Punch recipe.
In this episode we try to talk about mezcal. Nonetheless, Metro Melik meanders around the life history of Keith Buchele. In this episode we learn about his home and work history that lead him to be the general manager of Soup Spoon Cafe. There are a lot of laughs.
We FINALLY talk about a spirit and it is mezcal. If you are not familiar with this spirit, and even if you are, you'll be sure to enjoy our discussion about mezcal. We also talk about what foods pair well with it. And Keith has a simple cocktail recipe for you to try.